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Hirestreet launches new tech platform for fashion rental market

ByRob Lawson

Jun 19, 2021

THE UK’s leading fashion rental platform has branched out with a new tech product.

Newcastle-based Hirestreet was launched three years ago by former investment banker Isabella West who wanted to disrupt the fast fashion market by encouraging women to rent clothes rather than buy them.

Customers book outfits in advance and hire them for four to 16 days before they are returned via Royal Mail to Hirestreet’s warehouse in Glasgow.

The company has gone from strength to strength and bought up Manchester rival Hire That Look two years ago. It now has more than one million site users, working with retailers such as French Connection, Whistles, Lavish Alice and Ghost to become the go-to website for affordable and sustainable outfits.

Now Hirestreet has launched the country’s first white label fashion rental platform, which gives fashion brands the chance to rent out their clothing instead of buying.

Zoa can do everything a brand needs to launch a rental service – the technology, warehousing, cleaning and reporting.

Emily Ling, Head of Operations at Hirestreet and Zoa, explained: “We’ve been working on Zoa for some time and have launched the product with two clients – both UK-wide menswear companies.

“One of the fundamental objectives of Hirestreet was to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Isabella’s mission is to stop unwanted outfits ending up at landfill. Rental combats the environmental impact of wearing something once and increases the lifecycle for that garment and means it doesn’t sit in someone’s wardrobe having only been worn once.

“Zoa is a continuation of that philosophy and we want to encourage more fashion brands to reduce their impact on the environment by introducing a rental option.”

Emily and Isabella met at what was Newcastle Central High School and kept in touch. Emily joined Hirestreet in April 2019 as Head of Content and Customer Strategy, becoming Head of Operations later that year.

The company now employs more than 20 across the UK, and has just moved into a new HQ in Haylofts, the former St Thomas Street Stables in Haymarket which have been transformed into 22 offices, meeting rooms and lecture space by HyHubs, the business centre chain that includes Hoults Yard in Byker.

Hirestreet pivoted during the pandemic to introduce more casual pieces to remain relevant to a lockdown lifestyle – its largest market is young professional women looking to rent one-off outfits for special occasions including weddings, race days, christenings and holidays.

“Hirestreet makes fashion more accessible as well as more sustainable – our customers can rent a £300 dress at a fraction of the cost. The company is doing really well and we’re also excited about Zoa. We think it’s a great way to lower the barriers to a circular economy in the fashion sector. Hirestreet is where Asos meets Booking.com, but Zoa is more like Shopify for sharing,” said Emily.

For more information on Zoa, go to www.zoarental.com, for more on Hirestreet, go to http://www.hirestreetuk.com

If you’re interested in an office or space at Haylofts, or would like a tour, email Laura Goldston –laura.goldston@hyhubs.com